written by:
December 8, 2011

Brothers, boyfriends, dads, and roommates: with music as a common denominator, gift-giving should be a breeze. Whittling it all down seems daunting (there are, by my last count, 12,401 headphone models on the open market) until you factor in a rigorous design sensibility, and voila! Read 'em and weep, fellas.

Hatch Show Print

Hatch Show Print: The History of a Great American Poster Shop

This is the complete zeitguide to an era of country music concert posters from Nashville's alpha print company, Hatch Show Print. The tome features over 175 illustrations of handcrafted letterpress posters for everyone from Dolly Parton to the Beastie Boys.

speaker

Speak-er Desktop Speakers

Desktop speakers aren't known for their high aesthetic factor; luckily, designers like music, too, and are working to jazz up the littles boxes of sound.

rough trade albums

Rough Trade Album-of-the-Month

London's Rough Trade pioneered the music-as-retail strategy, so trust that this isn't your average CD subscription service. A 3-, 6-, or 12-month membership locks down the must-hear album of the moment plus bonus goodies that you can probably sell on eBay someday.

site of sound book

Site of Sound: Of Architecture and the Ear Vol. 2

The anticipated follow-up to volume one from 1999, this anthology explores the space between sound and architecture, from "acoustical technologies" to public art and urban planning. Plus, a CD of related compositions.

NPR radio

NPR Radio

The NPR radio connects via wireless to over 20,000 internet radio stations across the globe, and a portion of the price tag goes right to the beloved non-profit radio station.

tristan perich

1-Bit Symphony

When the compact disc case is the audio player: Tristan Perich's 1-Bit Symphony is catnip to ambient music fans, tech nerds, and design aficionados alike. The five-movement symphony is played on a single microchip and a hand-made circuit inside a jewel box.

ultrasone headphones

Edition 10 Headphones

Yes, there is a pair of headphones that costs as much as a home audio system. The price of the limited-edition Ultrasone Edition 10 is only slightly justified by the fact that only 2,010 pairs of the Ethiopian sheepskin-trimmed cans were made.

fools gold aiaiai headphones

TMA-1 DJ Headphones

If you can't live with yourself for gifting almost $3K worth of headphone, these limited-edition ear speakers were designed with the help of indie record label Fool's Gold.

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